The trajectory of the “Third World” in early modern Chinese thought
WANG Xiaoming (Translated by JIN Li)
ABSTRACT In this essay, I trace two aspects of the thought on the “Third World” in early modern China: how to understand the world revolution, and how to create a new China. While focusing on two trendy notions at the time, i.e. “Chinese revolution” (Zhongguo geming), and “nong country”(nongguo), I argue that the thought on the “Third World” in early modern China breaks free of the shackle of fashionable theories and draws upon local circumstances and China’s own repertoire of power when exploring an ideal of a new world. While the difficulty in confronting the “Third World” consciousness in today’s China is still overwhelming, the fact that we now remember “the spirit of Bandong” signals some progress.
KEYWORDS: The Third World, Chinese revolution, world revolution, Three Principles of the People, nong country
Notes on contributor
Wang Xiaoming王曉明, Professor of Cultural Studies at Shanghai University, Shanghai and Distinguished Adjunct Professor at Lingnan University, HK, is the author of 16 books published in Shanghai, Beijing, Taipei, HK and Seoul, which focus on today’s cultural, and urban, situations in mainland China as well as the modern thought and literature of China.
Notes on translator
Jin Li 金莉 holds a PhD on East Asian Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University; her research is on late imperial and modern Chinese literature. After teaching in the US and Norway for some years, she now lives in China, doing translation-related work.